Smoke Detectors - Smoke Alarms
Modern living has meant we use more and more electrical appliances in the home so the risk of electrical accidents in the home is much higher than before.
A smoke detector is a device that detects smoke, typically as an indicator of fire. Household detectors, also known as smoke alarms, generally issue a local audible or visual alarm from the detector itself.
Most smoke detectors work either by optical detection (photoelectric) or by physical process (ionization), while others use both detection methods to increase sensitivity to smoke. A smoke alarm is sometimes powered by a single disposable battery.
To really ensure your family’s safety, we strenuously recommend that all smoke detectors should be hooked directly to the electrical wiring, be interconnected and have a battery backup.
In addition, smoke detectors are recommended either inside or outside every bedroom. Smoke detectors on the outside of bedrooms will detect fires more quickly, assuming the fire does not begin in the bedroom, but the sound of the alarm will be reduced and may not wake some people.
Wired units with a third "interconnect" wire allow a dozen or more detectors to be connected, so that if one detects smoke, the alarms will sound on all the detectors in the network, improving the chances that your family will be alerted, even if they are behind closed doors or if the alarm is triggered one or two floors from their location.
In the UK the placement of detectors and the installation of smoke alarms in new builds need to comply to the British Standards BS5839 pt6. BS 5839: Pt.6: 2004 recommends that a new-build property consisting of no more than 3 floors (less than 200sqm per floor) should be fitted with a Grade D, LD2 system. Building Regulations in England, Wales and Scotland recommend that BS 5839: Pt.6 should be followed, but as a minimum a Grade D, LD3 system should be installed. Building Regulations in Northern Ireland require a Grade D, LD2 system to be installed, with smoke alarms fitted in the escape routes and the main living room and a heat alarm in the kitchen, this standard also requires all detectors to have a main supply and a battery back up.
Electric-wise are happy to advise you on all of these regulations and/or to visit your home and carry out a no-obligation survey.
We strongly recommend that all smoke detectors should be connected directly to the electrical wiring, be interconnected and have a battery backup.
We also strongly advise householders to NEVER disconnect their existing smoke alarm because it 'goes off' when cooking! If you forget to re-connect it, what happens if there is a fire in the middle of the night?